Arthur Fraser. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Arthur Fraser. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

The Constitutional Court has dismissed the DA’s application, in which it sought to have the appointment of former spy boss Arthur Fraser as the national commissioner of correctional services set aside with immediate effect.

The DA had filed papers with SA’s apex court in which it sought exclusive jurisdiction by the court on the matter‚ or alternatively, to be granted direct access to it. It also wanted the court to declare that by making the appointment, President Cyril Ramaphosa violated his constitutional obligation.

The court said in an order dated May 2 that it had considered the urgent application for direct access to the court, and that it was dismissed.

"It was concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interests of justice to grant direct access, and the application is not urgent," the order read.

No costs were awarded.

Fraser was moved to correctional services two days before he would have opposed an urgent application in the High Court in Pretoria, brought by Setlhomamaru Dintwe‚ the inspector-general of intelligence‚ to interdict Fraser’s decision to revoke Dintwe’s security clearance.

Dintwe accused Fraser of revoking his top-secret security clearance as a way of thwarting an investigation in which Fraser himself was directly implicated.

The urgent court bid was dropped after Fraser was moved from the State Security Agency (SSA) and Dintwe got his top-secret security clearance back.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane had said when the application was filed that Fraser was "a compromised individual who is wholly unfit to hold such a vital position within government‚ and as such the President erred in his appointment of such an individual".

Ramaphosa had indicated in the National Assembly this week during question time that he had instructed the Minister of State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, to attend to the governance and operational challenges confronting the agency, and work to restore the public’s confidence in the institution.

As part of the clean-up, Ramaphosa said he would establish a review panel to look at whether the SSA and the intelligence services needed to be restructured.

Ramaphosa's spokeswoman Khusela Diko said the presidency welcomed the order by the Constitutional Court.  

"The president always stands ready to explain any decision he has taken within the ambit of the law and in line with the doctrine of the separation of powers. We do urge the DA to follow due process in such matters," Diko said on Friday evening.